To fast-track economic recovery amid the pandemic, public and private sectors must unite and work together to achieve a more inclusive financial ecosystem for all Filipinos. This is the vision behind “One with the Nation: Forging Public-Private Partnerships Towards Digital Inclusion in the Philippines,” a webinar organized by GCash, the country’s no. 1 mobile wallet app in collaboration with various national government agencies and local government units (LGUs).
The webinar featured distinguished speakers from both the public and private sectors led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Benjamin Diokno, Makati Mayor Abby Binay, Congressman Jose Enrirque Garcia, DSWD Director Wayne Belizar, Bureau of Treasury of the Philippines OIC Deputy Treasurer Ed Marino, BSP Deputy Dir. for Payment Systems Atty. Leah M. Irao, GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon, GCash Vice President for Enterprise Jose Luis Reyes and GCash AVP and Head of Public Sector & Partnerships Cathlyn Pavia.
“Our partnerships with the private sector have provided us with a wide network to reach more customers and develop more relevant financial services and products,” said Martha Sazon, GCash president and chief executive officer. “But in order to truly reach the unbanked and underserved communities, we look to the public sector with their expertise and resources. Together, we can really make a difference in the lives of Filipinos.”
The event opened with a Keynote Message from BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno on “Digital Financial Inclusion: Impacting the Lives of Millions of Filipinos”. In his message to the participants, Governor Diokno underscored the importance of making financial inclusion a reality for every Filipino in the country. This was followed by a panel discussion on “Digital Infrastructure: The Journey Starts Today!” led by BSP deputy director Atty Leah M. Irao and Cong. Jose Enrique Garcia. Atty. Irao and Congressman Garcia discussed the value of digitalization to promote the safety and security of Filipinos even beyond the pandemic.
A talk on the importance of outlining a strategic path towards digital transformation was discussed next by Pavia in “Digital Roadmap: Are We Ready to Innovate?”. In her talk, Pavia emphasized the critical value of implementing digitalization in phases, and how digital solutions can be seamlessly integrated in order to create a hybrid approach and to facilitate smoother adoption.
In his talk on “Digital Manual: 101 Opportunities to Move Forward!,” Director Marino discussed the long-term benefits of creating sound policies and guidelines, ensuring transparency during digital transformation.
Highlighting trailblazing partnerships going cashless, Makati Mayor Abby Binay led a panel entitled “Digital Headstart: Kaya Mo Pilipino!” In Makati, data of its constituents were collected and used to create the Makatizen ID card and open GCash accounts. The card serves as a valid ID that can be used to avail of government services, and a debit card to withdraw in any Bancnet ATM or use in Mastercard-accepting merchants. Likewise, Makati also uses GCash to disburse the salaries of employees, and allowances of senior citizens, and other financial assistance such as Maka-tulong. With Mayor Binay was DSWD Dir. Delizer who in turn shared the agency’s groundbreaking SAP disbursement program last year.
This successful partnership at the height of the pandemic last year was the collaboration between GCash and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for safer distribution of funds for its Social Amelioration Program. GCash was able to distribute more than P16 billion to at least 2 million Filipinos, saving the government about 952 days and around P52 million. GCash continues to support DSWD in its Assistance for Individuals Under Crisis Situation program on a monthly basis.
The mobile app has also partnered with the Social Security System (SSS). Since February, SSS has enabled GCash as an option for receiving benefits through PESOnet. The app has provided SSS members an option to pay their monthly contribution payments via the app’s Pay Bills feature. Likewise for PAG-IBIG, contributions are also conveniently accepted via Pay Bills and Web Pay.
Closing the webinar was GCash VP for Enterprise Jose Luis Reyes who stressed the importance of financial inclusion and expressed optimism that despite today’s challenges, there is a clear way forward to achieve BSP’s vision and make Filipino lives better every day.
These programs are proof that strong partnerships between the private and public sectors are crucial in successfully bringing the benefits of digitalization and financial inclusion to Filipinos at a time when they need it most.
For more information, visit www.gcash.com.